Arrecife · Seat of Government, Capital of the Island, Harbour and Shopping Town

Arrecife LanzaroteSince 1852, Arrecife has been the capital of Lanzarote and, with a population of 56,900 (2015), the biggest town on the island and also the seat of the island government. About half the entire population of the island lives here. The name Arrecife means reef and refers to the coral reef which lies quite near to the coast at this point. At the time when deep sea fishing was still an important industry, the harbour at Arrecife was the home of the Canary Islands fishing fleet.

A lot has being done in the last years to improve the town for inhabitants as well for tourist visits. Pedestrian areas have been designed, parking garages and above all the renovation of the ocean promenade. Shops, shopping centers and lots of restaurants and bars, cafés and pubs now are in the center of the town.

Lots of money also was spent to improve the waste water system and drain system of the old roads and streets of Arrecife. Always when heavy rainfalls are on Lanzarote, shops, flats and roads of Arrecife started to become very quickly flooded by all the water which could not be drained away.

Arrecife - sea promenade
View to the sea promenade with a coffee bar.

The best time to visit Arrecife with open shops and public departments is from 9.00 a.m. to 13.00 p.m and again from 17.00 p.m. to about 20.00 p.m.

Shopping in the City of Arrecife

But in the last time there is an action to win shop owners of small shops, fashion boutiques, bakeries and shopping malls for opening also on saturdays afternoon and on sundays because of the crowds of tourists from luxury liner which stop in the harbour of Arrecife. Thousands of "crusaders" pop into the city during their stay and most of the shops and bars are closed... That cold be now the stimulation to bring more life into the usually on weekends very calm and dead areas in the town center.

Anyway, it is an interesting day going shopping in the pedestrian zone of the city - the "calle real". The photograph shows a snapshot of this area during the day:

Calle Real - Arrecife Shopping Area

The church of San Ginés: At the end of the 16th century the first church had been built in Arrecife. This church was consecrate to the 1. bishop of Arrecife, San Ginés. It is worth to visit this old church. In front of the tower there is a beautiful place with old trees - from here many small roads go to the center and the pedestrian area of the town.

The church San Ginés in Arrecife
The prominent tower of the church San Ginés.

Arrecife - Charco de San Ginés

Two different views to the Charco San Ginés - a little lagoon which is the harbour for fishing boats of the Arrecife people. This bay is very close to the church of San Ginés and there are lovely bars and restaurants all around. From here you may enjoy the view to the town center. Parking areas are next to the lagoon.

Arrecife - Charco de San Ginés

The Grand Hotel Lanzarote

The Grand Hotel - opened in July 2004, is a 5 star hotel and rebuilt out of the unique "skyscaper" of Lanzarote, which was more than 10 years closed after a fire. Now it gives Arrecife a "new face" from the seaside and a new offer of a five star high standard hotel. Next to the Grand Hotel you will find the Arrecife sandy city beach - a nice bay surrounded by many palm trees.

Arrecife Gran Hotel
View to the Grand Hotel in Arrecife.

On the outskirts of Arrecife, especially on the northern and eastern side of the town, there are industrial complexes with furniture stores, cash-and-carry supermarkets, building firms, carpentry workshops, garage, car repair shop and other industries out of all industrial and trading sectors. On the east side in direction of Costa Teguise you will find IKEA, LIDL food market and other furniture supermarkets and also lots of industry halls as well as the Lanzarote harbour with the ferry terminal.

Arrecife also has its historical town center - but there are only interesting photo scenes as we show you below. The rest are houses in bad condition and places you do not want to walk along...

Editorial team
Text/Fotos © LanzaRed S.L.

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